Venezuela’s National Assembly chief, Diosdado Cabello
Diosdado Cabello said on Sunday that the oath of office was a formality that could be sworn in by the Supreme Court at a later time.
"We Chavistas will do what the people have instructed, they decided on October 7 that the leader of the revolution be president for another term and nobody will move us," the Chavez ally said.
The Venezuelan president underwent a fourth round of cancer surgery in Cuba’s capital, Havana, on December 11, 2012, and has a scheduled inauguration for a third presidential term on January 10.
Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro also said on Saturday that Chavez's absence due to illness would not disqualify him from office.
This comes as some opposition leaders argue that if Chavez does not return to the capital, Caracas, by Thursday, the president of the National Assembly should take over as interim president until an election is held and a new president installed in office.
Maduro said the constitution does not specify when a president needs to take the oath of office before the Supreme Court.
"That means the president will continue in office, he has the express permission of the Assembly to be treated for his illness and he will be sworn in when he is able," the vice president said.
On January 3, Venezuela’s information minister warned that the opposition and the media are taking advantage of the health of the president to wage a “psychological war” to destabilize the country.
Ernesto Villegas said in a televised statement that the government “warns the Venezuelan people about the psychological war that the transnational media complex has unleashed around the health of the chief of state, with the ultimate goal of destabilizing the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”